Monday, March 30th
1pm on Zoom link below
The projects I realize as a digital media artist and academic circulate in overlapping but distinctive contexts. They include the contemporary art world (fine art galleries & museums exhibitions, journal publications), the digital media arts field (Ars electronica, International Society of Electronic Arts, etc.), academic conferences, publications (College Art Association, Leonardo, etc), and engineering-connected (IEEE Vis, Siggraph, ACM Multimedia, etc.). The artistic works are realized within the framework of George Legrady Studio, and the collaborative research works with MATP students occurs through the Experimental Visualization Lab. In this presentation I will review some projects of the past twenty years and address issues of marketing, funding, intellectual property assignment, interdisciplinary and others.
George Legrady is a digital media artist who directs the Experimental Visualization Lab dedicated to explorations in computation photography, data visualizations and digital interactive installations. A pioneer since the mid-1980s in bridging computation with issues of photographic representation, his contribution to the field has been in intersecting cultural content with data processing to create new forms of representations. He is an internationally exhibiting artist whose practice and research have been supported by a Guggenheim Fellowship, Creative Capital Foundation, National Science Foundation, National Endowment of the Arts, the Daniel Langlois for Art, Science & Technology, and the Canada Council for the Arts.
Former chair of the Media Arts & Technology, he has previously held faculty positions at the University of Southern California; California Institute of the Arts; UCLA; San Francisco State University; Merz Akademie, Stuttgart, Germany; University of Western Ontario, Canada; the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design, Canada, and the National Academy of Fine Arts, Budapest, Hungary.
His artworks are in the collection of the San Francisco Museum of Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, National Gallery of Canada, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, musée d’art contemporain in Montreal, Philbrook Museum of Art, Smithsonian Institution, ZKM (Center for Art and Media), 21c Museum and others.
Monday, April 6th
1pm on Zoom link below
The lecture will center on the collaborative Audio-Visual practice of Pierce Warnecke and Matthew Biederman covering their generative installation and performative works. By giving equal focus to both sound and video, their work puts the theme of each piece at the forefront. Through a review of their history working together from different continents, the talk will explore conceptual underpinnings, technical overviews and relationships with contemporary music and visual culture.
Matthew Biederman has been performing, installing and exhibiting works, which explore themes of perception, media saturation, and data systems from a multiplicity of perspectives since the mid nineties. Biederman was the recipient of the Bay Area Artist Award in Video by New Langton Arts in 1999, First Place in the Visual Arts category of Slovenia’s Break21 festival. He has served as artist-in-residence at a variety of institutions and institutes, including the Center for Experimental Television on numerous occasions, CMU’s CREATE lab, the Wave Farm and many more.
He has since co-founded the Arctic Perspective Initiative, with Marko Peljhan, in 2007, a non-profit, international group of individuals and organizations, whose goal is to promote the creation of open authoring, communications and dissemination infrastructures for the circumpolar region. While working at the intersection of art, science and community, API also has been included in group exhibitions and biennales worldwide, as well as several European solo exhibitions, one of which was named as a ‘Top 10’ of 2010 by ARTFORUM magazine (Arctic Perspectives, HMKV Dortmund).
His works have been exhibited in the US, South America, Europe and Japan, in a variety of festivals and venues such as 7 ATA Festival Internacional (Lima), the 11th Lyon Bienniale, the 2011 Quebec Trienniale, 2014 Montreal Bienniale (Musee des Arts Contemporain), Bienniale of Digital Art (BIAN, Montreal), Artissima (Turin, IT), Moscow Biennale, Art and Alternative Visions (Tokyo) and Sonic Acts (NASA, Amsterdam) among others. As a film and video maker, his works have been included in the FILE festival (Sao Paulo), New Forms Festival (Vancouver), the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Paris/Berlin International Meetings, and the Chicago Underground Film Festival. His public works have been shown at the ZeroOne2006 Festival (San Jose US), the SCAPE Biennial in New Zealand as well as producing custom commissions. He has collaborated with musicians as a visual artist since 1999, performing at the historic Theatre du Chatelet in Paris, as well as Ars Electronica, AV Festival, Elektra, Mutek, Futuresonic, FILE and many, many more. His works are included in public, corporate and private collections in North America.
Biederman is currently represented by Art45 and lives and works in Montreal, Quebec.
Pierce Warnecke is sound and video artist from the US, based in Europe for over a decade. He works equally in the sonic and visual domains via performances, installations and compositions. In addition to his solo works he collaborates with Frank Bretschneider, Matthew Biederman Keith Fullerton Whitman and more. He has received supporting grants from Germany, Canada, the European Union and France. He currently works as a professor at Berklee Valencia, Spain. Pierce has presented his works in many international festivals and spaces, such as MUTEK, ZKM, Sonic Acts, KW Institut Berlin, CTM Festival, Elektra, NEMO and more. He has released music on raster-media and Room40 and is represented by CTM’s DISK Agency.
Monday, April 13th
1pm on Zoom link below
In this talk I’ll share some of the work on music software and hardware I’m doing at Madrona Labs and discuss the design principles that guide it. Making audio tools presents unique challenges, and humane design has been a useful framework for developing solutions. That’s sort of the “first, do no harm” foundation of design. With it in place we can move on to new ways to support, delight and inspire the composer or player. Though the boundaries between the tools and what I’m doing with them have in general been clear, some ideas from my past audiovisual work are making their way into the tools. I’ll show a little of this work and talk about who and what influenced it.
Randy Jones started writing programs to make music when he got his first computer in the early '80s, and never stopped. He has performed live audiovisuals at events including Cinema by Design (Seattle), Decibel (Seattle), Media-Space (Stuttgart), Festival de Música Electroacústica (Havana), Mutek (Montréal), New Forms Festival (Vancouver), Technicolor (Berlin), and Transmissions (Chicago).
Other projects have included writings and lectures on computer-mediated performance, tour visuals for the band Radiohead, and motion visual design for a permanent installation at the Seattle Public Library. From 2000-2004 he worked with Cycling '74 to create Jitter, a graphics and matrix-processing addition to Max/MSP. In 2008 Randy founded Madrona Labs, where he and colleagues create hardware and software for computer music. He lives in Seattle.
Monday, April 20th
1pm on Zoom link below
Culture is the integration of thought shared by entire collectives of people. In my research, I ask how entire groups of authors and audiences shape culture: What is it that evolves; what rules can be observed; and how are multiple observations related to each other? Answering these questions requires not only exact thinking and hypothesis testing but also the ability to visualize predictions, first in your mind’s eye, and second by collecting data, decoding, analyzing, synthesizing, and rendering on the computer screen. This present lecture summarizes some of my theoretical propositions as well as empirical testing, focusing in particular on a visual tool for geographical analysis of public media. I also give an outlook on how this geographical interface is intended to become a cultural radar that shows how culture grows towards you and could attract the same breadth of audience as a regular rain radar.
“United we stand” inspires not only collaborative spirit but also a new research direction in the study of urban life and diversity. “United” in this context means listening to everyone and learning to coordinate efforts in the making and spreading of culture. Through art, art shows, creative writing, architecture, criticism, editorial work, photography, teaching, data science, supercomputing, urbanism, as well as doctorate and postdoctorate Dan C. Baciu has probed and shaped this research direction. His doctoral project “From Everything Called Chicago School to the Theory of Varieties” was awarded cross-national grants and science support paving the path to the WhatEvery1Says Interpretation Laboratory at UC Santa Barbara. There, Dr. Baciu brings together an entire interdisciplinary team of designers, data scientists, urban geographers, historians, English scholars, and beyond. In a time of rapid urbanization, data overload, and revolutionary wealth, as Alvin and Heidi Toffler contemplated, understanding how culture evolves on a large scale will prove increasingly important. When fake news shakes the modern world, and when companies are no longer valued for their transaction volume alone, but also for the data that they amass, we can no longer refrain from studying how people estimate the value of the messages that they read, write, rewrite, and share. Culture is the only means by which we can strike a balance between revolutionary wealth on one hand and decaying ecosystems, losses in biodiversity, epidemics, and depletion of natural resources on the other. Understanding culture on a global scale can no longer be postponed.
Monday, April 27th
1pm on Zoom link below
Participation in computing across gender, race/ethnicity, and socio-economic status is far from equitable. This equity matters because it determines who gets to develop technology. Artistic computing environments is one lens to explore inequities that exist within the design of learning experiences. Artistic practices offer reflective processes that can enable learners to draw on their own values and cultures within the learning experience; while computing technology provides various new media for learners to express themselves. In this talk, Dr. DesPortes will present her research investigating these interdisciplinary spaces that span across poetry, photography, dance, data science, electronics, civic engagement, and programming. She will discuss insights from co-designing these spaces with artists, working with learners across these disciplines, and report on the challenges and opportunities within these domains.
Dr. Kayla DesPortes is an Assistant Professor of Human-Computer Interaction and the Learning Sciences at New York University. Her research vision is to use computing education to empower learners who are typically marginalized by technology. In her work, she applies a variety of participatory methods to design and study artistic computing learning environments and the technology that supports them. She works in collaboration with educators, learners, artists, and community organizations. This work has led her to explore ways for learners to leverage their cultures and values as they build expressive designs with computing. She received her PhD in Human-Centered Computing from Georgia Institute of Technology in 2018 and a B.S. in Electrical Computer Engineering from Cornell University in 2010. Dr. DesPortes has received funding from the National Science Foundation to support the exploration of physical computing, data science, machine learning, and dance learning environments (STEM+C #1933961), as well as funding to investigate the co-design of data science curriculum with art and math teachers (DRK12 #1908557).
Monday, May 4th
1pm on Zoom (link below)
How might the shaping of technology make our lives richer and more meaningful? This presentation (with live demos) is a journey through the design of everyday tools, musical instruments, games, and social experiences -- working at the intersection of HCI, design, art, the humanities and social science. It is a story on how we shape technology, and how technology, in turn, shapes us and our society.
Ge Wang is an Associate Professor at Stanford University in Music, Computer Science, and the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA). He researches the artful design of tools, instruments, toys, games and social experiences. Ge is the architect of the ChucK music programming language, director of the Stanford Laptop Orchestra and the CCRMA VR Design Lab, co-founder of Smule, and designer of the Ocarina and Magic Piano apps for mobile phones. He is a 2016 Guggenheim Fellow and the author of ARTFUL DESIGN: TECHNOLOGY IN SEARCH OF THE SUBLIME (2018), a photo comic book about the ethics and aesthetics of shaping technology. (https://artful.design/)
Monday, May 11th
1pm on Zoom (link below)
This talk provides an overview of some of the ongoing research and creative projects taking place at the Creative Coding Lab at UC Santa Cruz. The projects include: a novel computational model based on the Physarum Polycephalum slime mold to map the structure of the Cosmic Web; a reduced precision neural network architecture for image reconstruction; and an interactive art tool that provides insight into the features learned by a style transfer network trained on different source images, among others.
Angus Forbes is an associate professor in the Department of Computational Media at UC Santa Cruz, where he directs the Creative Coding Lab. Angus helps to organize the IEEE VIS Arts Program and was the ACM SIGGRAPH Arts Papers chair in 2018. In 2021, he will serve as the SIGGRAPH Art Gallery Chair.
My notion of the glitch follows from a certain understanding of the double valance of technology. To see the double-edge of technology; to understand how the iterative design process, a procedural one, is at work in reproduction of culture —this is the technological imagination. Technology is on one hand, reiterating the past, and, on the other hand, innovating a new assemblage. It is in these difficult friction points—the double-edge of technology—where this paper will argue that change and new knowledge are experienced.
Known for creating R-Shief software and performing as the Arabic-speaking cyborg VJ Um Amel, Laila Shereen Sakr is Assistant Professor of Media Theory & Practice at University of California, Santa Barbara. At UCSB, she co-founded Wireframe, a new digital media studio that supports critical game design and digital arts practice. Her current book project theorizes “glitch” as an experience of revolution and counterrevolution that occurred across the Arab world and reveals the indispensability, the promises, and the limits of digital communication across borders and languages. Sakr has shown in solo and group exhibitions and performances at galleries and museums including the San Francisco MoMA, National Gallery of Art in Jordan, Camera Austria, Cultura Digital in Brazil, Kirchner Cultural Centre in Argentina, Tahrir Cultural Center in Egypt, Fridge Art Gallery in Washington, DC, and 100 Copies in Egypt, among other venues. Her journal articles appear in Middle East Critique, Cinema Journal Teaching Dossier, Networking Knowledge: Journal of the Media, Communication, and Cultural Studies, Parson’s Journal for Information Mapping, Thoughtmesh: Critical Code Journal, and Feminist Debates in Digital Humanities.
Over the last two decades, she has been a leading voice in the open source movement, in particular for Arabic localization. She is Co-Editor for the open access journal: Media Theory, and also for After Video published by Open Humanities Press. She collaborates with MIT’s Global Media Technologies & Cultures Lab as a Researcher. At UCSB, she is Faculty Affiliate in the Feminist Studies Department and the Center for Responsible Machine Learning, and serves on the advisory, executive, and steering committees for UCSB Digital Arts & Humanities Commons, Center for Middle East Studies, and Center for Information Technology & Society. Reviews of her digital media appear in The Wall Street Journal, Science, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Fast Company, The Huffington Post, The Guardian, Voice of America, Al-Ahram, Art Territories, Digital Media and Learning, Egypt Independent, Mada Masr, Jadaliyya, Medium, and The Creators Project.
Monday, June 1st
1pm on Zoom (link below)
Carsten Nicolai (aka Alva Noto) will be the guest of the final MAT SEMINAR for the 2019/2020 period. This is not going to be a regular lecture. We are asking the MAT community to study his work and materials from the available online resources and prepare questions, challenges and discussion points.
Carsten Nicolai was born 1965 in Karl-Marx-Stadt and is a German
artist and musician based in Berlin. He is part of an artist
generation who works intensively in the transitional area between
music, art and science. Influenced by scientific reference systems,
Nicolai often engages geometry, mathematics, grids and codes, as well
as errors and random and self-organizing structures. After his
participation in international exhibitions such as documenta X and the
49th and 50th Venice Biennales, Nicolai’s works were shown worldwide
in extensive solo and group exhibitions. His artistic œuvre is also
echoed in his work as a musician. With a strong adherence to
reductionism he leads his sound experiments into the field of
electronic music creating his own code of signs, acoustics and visual
symbols. Together with Olaf Bender and Frank Bretschneider he
co-founded the label 'raster-noton. archiv für ton und nichtton' and
now heads the independent 'noton' label. His diverse musical projects
include remarkable collaborations with Ryuichi Sakamoto, Ryoji Ikeda
(cyclo.), Blixa Bargeld and Mika Vainio. Nicolai toured extensively as
Alva Noto through Europe, Asia, South America and the US. Among
others, he performed at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York,
the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Centre Pompidou in Paris and
Tate Modern in London. Most recently Nicolai scored the music for
Alejandro González Iñárritu’s newest film, 'The Revenant' which has
been nominated for a Golden Globe, BAFTA, and Critics Choice Award.
He has also collaborated extensively with Marko Peljhan since their
participation at documenta X, through the series of Wardenclyffe
projects, the SOLAR performances as well as the polar (2000), for
which they have received the Golden Nica for interactive arts and
polar [mirrored] (2010) projects.
Currently, both artists are conceptualizing the 2020 iteration of the
Some study links (search engines will help you find many more...):
Monday, January 6th
1pm, Elings Hall, room 1605
Art and technology are powerful tools to help us record and comprehend the current climate crisis. I believe that sensors and near real-time telemetry can help us bridge the literal distance between remote locations undergoing the most drastic changes and population centers. I also believe in the potential of installation art to translate data into immersive visceral experience more impactful than charts, graphs and statistics. I will share several iterations of an ongoing collaboration with the International Arctic Buoy Programme to develop and deploy custom art / science instruments that record multi-year sea ice. I will also share early results from an effort to digitally document mountain glaciers to create an immersive virtual reality experience in collaboration with a specialist in the digital preservation of UNESCO cultural heritage sites.
Cy Keener is an interdisciplinary artist who uses environmental sensing and kinetic sculpture to record and represent the natural world. He is an Assistant Professor of Sculpture and Emerging Technology at the University of Maryland’s Department of Art. His work includes a range of data-based installations to visualize diverse phenomena including sea ice, wind, rain and ocean waves. He received a Master of Fine Arts from Stanford University, and a Master of Architecture from the University of California, Berkeley. Cy has completed commissioned installations at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Stanford University, Suyama Space in Seattle, and the Rubin Center for the Visual Arts at the University of Texas. Over the past year Cy has presented his work at PIKSEL, in Bergen, Norway, The Conference on Communication and Environment in Vancouver, British Columbia and the Applied Physics Laboratory at the University of Washington.
Monday, January 13th
1pm, Elings Hall, room 2611 (Legrady Lab)
The recent development of artificial intelligence (AI) promises a future of data-driven automation that can replace most of today’s human efforts. However, currently most AI-enabled systems—often functioning as ‘black boxes’—struggle to accommodate, learn from or communicate with humans. One fundamental problem is a limited interaction bandwidth between human and AI: currently, AI’s development is bestowed upon the few experts; for users in non-computing domains, there is limited support for them to comprehend, customize or collaborate with AI. As we are on the cusp of defining the future of human-AI relationship, it is important to create new interaction channels to bridge AI and non-computing users. In this talk, I will discuss three research thrusts for expanding the interaction bandwidth between human and AI:
Xiang ‘Anthony' Chen is an Assistant Professor in UCLA's Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering. Anthony's area of expertise is Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). He received his Ph.D. in the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University in 2017 and was a recipient of the NSF CISE CRII Award and the Adobe Ph.D. Fellowship. His research is at the intersection of sensing & interaction techniques, intelligent user interfaces, and computational design & fabrication. Anthony’s work has won two best paper awards and one honorable mentioned in top-tier HCI conferences.
How can we harness the precision of machines for the creativity of individuals? Digital fabrication tools promise quality production in low volume and are now accessible in maker spaces worldwide. However, the maker context is very different from the historical industrial settings in which digital fabrication was developed. Yet these differences have not led to many changes in contemporary tools. I argue that personal fabrication requires a rethinking of production infrastructure, and in this talk outline a research roadmap for machine agency.
Nadya directs the Machine Agency at the University of Washington where she is an assistant professor in Human-Centered Design and Engineering. Machines and systems Nadya has built are shared widely including at SCF, CHI, SIGGRAPH, and TEI. Nadya is an active member of the global fab lab community, making digital fabrication more accessible with better CAD/CAM tools and developing open source hardware machines and control systems. She on the board of the Open Source Hardware Association, half of the design studio James and the Giant Peek, plays drum machines and synths in the band Construction and got her PhD at MIT in the Center for Bits and Atoms.
Monday, Feburary 3rd
1pm, Elings Hall, room 1605
Natural systems, such as climbing geckos and wandering vines, are incredibly robust, adaptable, and capable of handling uncertainty in their environments. These traits are unfortunately not currently true about engineered robotic systems. I will discuss efforts to learn from nature by incorporating compliance, or softness, into robots to create new functionality. I will show results from recent work, including gecko-inspired adhesives that allow a human to climb a glass wall and vine-inspired robots that “grow” through challenging environments, such as a forest of nails or, potentially, the tortuous pathways inside the human body.
Elliot W. Hawkes is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at UCSB. Previously, he completed a postdoctoral fellowship with Prof. Allison Okamura at Stanford University, received his PhD with Prof. Mark Cutkosky, also at Stanford, and worked at the Harvard Microrobotics Lab and the ETH Multi-scale Robotics Lab. He has received a variety of awards and fellowships, and his work has received press from outlets such as the NY Times, BBC, Cell, Science, and the Late Show with Stephen Colbert.
Monday, Feburary 10th
1pm, Elings Hall, room 1605
The lecture will present a body of work and situations that Peljhan and his collaborators have been involved in over the past 20 years with a specific focus on the Earth's polar regions, probing the margins of technology, ecological thought, autonomy, privacy and biospheric strategies. Taking advantage of the notion of “systemics”, Peljhan will be revealing some of the structural background of his past, current and future endeavors. He will also be presenting details of his project that was showcased as the at the 58th International Art Exhibition, Biennale Arte 2019 in Venice, Italy.
Prof. Marko Peljhan is a theatre and radio director, conceptual artist and researcher. He founded and co-founded several still active arts organizations in the 90's such as Projekt Atol and one of the first media labs in Eastern Europe LJUDMILA. From 1994 on he worked on Makrolab, a project that focuses on telecommunications, migrations and weather systems research in an intersection of art/science/engineering; the Interpolar Transnational Art Science Constellation during the International Polar Year (2007-2009) and The Arctic Perspective Initiative. He is the recipient of many prizes for his work, including the 2001 Golden Nica Prize at Ars Electronica with Carsten Nicolai and his work has been exhibited internationally at multiple biennales (Venice, Lyon, Istanbul, Gwangju...) and festivals, at documenta, ISEA, Ars Electronica and museums and art institutions worldwide (YCAM, ICC-NT, PS.1. MOMA, GARAGE...). He serves as professor and director of the MAT Systemics Lab at the University of California Santa Barbara, the Chair of the Media Arts and Technology program at UCSB, the coordinator of international cooperation of the SPACE-SI Slovenian Centre for Space Sciences and Technologies and editor at large of the music label rx:tx. In the radio spectrum he is known as S54MX.
This talk will present a series of work that blends computation, digital fabrication, and traditional ceramics making. I will explore ways that computation and fabrication can integrate with, rather than supplant, existing craft practices. More specifically, I will discuss how I use computationally generated designs and a laser cutter in conjunction with traditional slab building techniques—techniques for constructing ceramic structures out of flat sheets, or "slabs", of clay—to create novel surface patterns, textures, and 3-dimensional shapes.
This project also explores the larger topic of the relationships between technologies and cultures of making—between people and their materials and tools, both new and old. Craft traditions, rich with material and technical expertise as well as cultural meaning, are often overlooked by technologists. I will argue that we should pay much closer attention to the longstanding making traditions of different communities as we investigate new approaches to design and fabrication. Doing so presents underexplored and vital technical, aesthetic, cultural, and even civic opportunities.
Leah Buechley is an associate professor in the computer science department at the University of New Mexico where she directs the Hand and Machine research group. She is a designer, engineer, and educator. Her work explores integrations of electronics, computing, art, craft, and design. She is a pioneer in paper and fabric-based electronics and her inventions include the LilyPad Arduino, a construction kit for sew-able electronics. Previously, she was a professor at the MIT Media Lab, where she founded and directed the High-Low Tech group. Her work has been featured in publications including The New York Times, Boston Globe, and Wired and exhibited in venues including Ars Electronica, the Exploratorium, and the Victoria and Albert Museum. In 2017, her work was recognized with the Edith Ackerman award for Interaction Design and Children. Leah received a PhD in computer science from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a BA in physics from Skidmore College. At both institutions she also studied dance, theater, fine art, and design.
Monday, March 2nd
1pm, Elings Hall, room 1605
The nexus of in-home intelligent assistants, activity tracking, and machine learning creates opportunities for personalized virtual and physical agents / robots that can positively impacts user health and quality of life. Well beyond providing information, such agents can serve as physical and mental health and education coaches and companions that support positive behavior change. However, sustaining user engagement and motivation over long-term interactions presents complex challenges. Our work over the past 15 years has addressed those challenges by developing human-machine / human-robot interaction methods for socially assistive robotics that utilize multi-modal interaction data and expressive agent behavior to monitor, coach, and motivate users to engage in heath- and wellness-promoting activities. This talk will present methods and results of modeling, learning, and personalizing user motivation, engagement, and coaching of healthy children and adults, as well as stroke patients, Alzheimer's patients, and children with autism spectrum disorders, in short and long-term (month+) deployments in schools, therapy centers, and homes, and discuss research and commercial implications for technologies aimed at human daily use.
Maja Mataric´ is Chan Soon-Shiong Distinguished Professor of Computer Science, Neuroscience, and Pediatrics at the University of Southern California, founding director of the USC Robotics and Autonomous Systems Center, and Vice Dean for Research in the Viterbi School of Engineering. Her MS and PhD are in Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence, and her BS in in Computer Science from the University of Kansas. She is Fellow of AAAS, IEEE, and AAAI, and the recipient of the US Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring, Anita Borg Institute Women of Vision Award in Innovation, the Okawa Foundation Award, NSF Career Award, MIT TR35 Award, and IEEE RAS Early Career Award. A pioneer of distributed robotics and, more recently, socially assistive robotics, Prof. Mataric’s research enables robots to help people improve through empowering interaction in rehabilitation, training, and education. Her group is developing robot-assisted therapies for autism, stroke, Alzheimer's and other domains,. She has published extensively, authored “The Robotic Primer” (MIT Press), has served as associate editor on three journals, on the NSF CISE Advisory Committee, and other advisory boards. Prof. Mataric’ is actively involved in leading K-12 STEM outreach efforts that engage student interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) topics and careers.
Monday, March 9th
1pm, Elings Hall, room 1605
Curator/ critic based in Tokyo. Director of “Open Water Committee”. Guest professor at Tama Art University and Tokyo Zokei University, lecturer at IAMAS (Institute of Advanced Media Arts and Sciences) and Meiji University. She researches and curate project traversing media arts, contemporary art, science, technology and society. She curated many foresight exhibitions and projects at Canon ARTLAB (1990-2001), Mori Art Museum (2002-04) and NTT InterCommunication Center [ICC] (2004-10) as well as independent projects. Recent works include SIAF(Sapporo International Art Festival) 2014, Kenpoku Art 2016 (both as curator), AMIT (Art, Media and I, Tokyo) (2014-18, Director), and “Open Water” (2020, Director/Curator). Shikata participated as a jury to many art and media art awards including Prix Ars Electronica, UNESCO Digi-Art Prize, ISEA, Nam June Paik Award, ACM Interactive Art Award and Japan Media Arts Festival. Guest Curator in Residence at Montalvo Arts Center (2019-2022).
Glenn Phillips will discuss the recent exhibition of Grandfather: A Pioneer Like Us which was a meticulous reconstruction of Harald Szeemann’s 1974 exhibition, originally presented in his apartment in Bern, Switzerland. The exhibition included more than 1,000 objects from his grandfather, Étienne Szeemann, an inventive maître coiffeur who was trained in Paris, Vienna, and London, and who developed an early version of the permanent wave machine. Most of these objects were later distributed, unidentified, throughout Szeemann’s massive archive in Maggia, Switzerland. Focusing on the interface between digital and analog procedures necessary to produce more than 100 surrogate objects for the exhibition, Phillips will discuss the seven-year process of reconstructing the Grandfather exhibition.
Glenn Phillips is Curator and Head of Modern and Contemporary Collections at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles. Phillips was a member of the core organizational team for Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945-1980, a series of over sixty concurrent exhibitions that were held across Southern California from fall 2011 to spring 2012. His other curatorial projects include Artists and Their Books (2018); Yvonne Rainer: Dances and Films (2014); and California Video (2008). In 2018 he presented with co-curator Philipp Kaiser Harald Szeemann: Museum of Obsessions, a retrospective of Szeemann at the Getty Research Institute that traveled to the Kunsthalle Bern, Kunsthalle Dusseldorf, and Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea. A reconstruction of Szeemann’s 1974 exhibition Grandfather: A Pioneer Like Us was presented at the ICA, Los Angeles; 74 Gerechgtigkeitsgasse, Bern; Kunsthalle Dusseldorf; Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea; and Swiss Institute, New York.
Monday, November 25th
1pm, Elings Hall, room 1601
Demoscene aesthetics are often driven by exploring the limits of computational hardware and programming techniques*. In contrast, aesthetics in live coding performance are often driven by abstraction and expressive potential. Although the two communities have largely existed at a distance, in recent years organizers have created more events where they converge**. In this talk I will provide an overview of both communities and discuss research combining the graphical techniques of the demoscene—in particular ray marching and constructive solid geometry—with the abstractions required for live coding performance. I conduct this research via a browser-based environment for exploring and performing with ray marchers, marching.js (https://charlieroberts.github.io/marching/playground/).
* often but not always… gotta love overhead projector demos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2&v=LCIsIfEOEI8&feature=emb_logo
** as two examples from 2019 see http://atparty-demoscene.net/2019/05/09/party-2019-performers/ and https://2019.cookie.paris
I am an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, with an affiliation in the Interactive Media & Game Development program, where my research examines human-centered computing in digital arts practice. I design and develop a creative coding environment for the browser, Gibber, that I use both for educational research and audiovisual performances. Gibber is used to teach computational media to students of all ages, and I perform with it regularly at international conferences and dance club events across the US, Europe, and Asia.
Monday, November 18th
1pm, Elings Hall, room 1601
Towards a goal of more human-centered computing, I believe that interaction must be grounded in the physical world and leverage our innate abilities for spatial cognition and dexterous manipulation with our hands. By creating interfaces that allow for richer physical interaction, such as bimanual, whole hand haptic exploration, these systems can help people with different abilities (e.g., children, people with visual impairments, or even expert designers) better understand and interact with information. My work in Human Computer Interaction (HCI) addresses a central challenge in the widespread adoption of such tangible user interfaces – how can we create physical interactive displays that update dynamically, and what are the interaction techniques and enabling technologies necessary to support such systems? This talk will focus on recent work exploring those questions through the development of new 3D tactile displays for interacting with spatial information in Virtual Reality, interfaces for people with visual impairments to author 3D models, and enabling technologies (including electrostatic adhesion) to make these devices low cost and high resolution.
Sean Follmer is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science (by courtesy) at Stanford University. His Research in Human Computer Interaction, Haptics, and Human Robot Interaction explores the design of novel tactile physical interfaces and robotic devices. Dr. Follmer directs the Stanford Shape Lab and is a faculty member of the Stanford HCI Group. Dr. Follmer received a PhD and a Masters from the MIT Media Lab in 2015 and 2011 (respectively) for his work in human-computer interaction, and a BS in Engineering from Stanford University. His talk featured on TED.com was named one of the best science and tech TED talks of 2015 and has been viewed more than 1.5 million times. He has received numerous awards for his research and design work including 5 Best Paper Awards and 7 Honorable Mentions from premier conferences in human-computer interaction (ACM UIST and CHI), Fast Company Innovation By Design Awards, a Red Dot Design Award, and a Laval Virtual Award. His work has been shown at the Smithsonian Cooper Hewitt Design Museum, Ars Electronica Center, and the Milan Design Week.
Monday, November 4th
1pm, Elings Hall, room 1601
Sarah Rosalena Brady discusses her research on computational craft in ways that speak to unstable states and binaries between life/nonlife, human/posthuman, ancient/modern, and biological/technological to reauthorize power in materialism. She will be discussing her recent research with the National Museum of the American Indian and Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Sarah Rosalena Brady is an interdisciplinary artist and new professor at UC Santa Barbara in Computational Craft and Haptic Media. Her work creates hybrids between binaries and power structures as a multiracial First Nations and Latinx. She is interested in utilizing materials in ways that speak to unstable states and speculate new futures where power is distributed. Her material processes employ machine learning, digital fabrication, ceramics, robotics, creative code, and weaving. She was recently given the LACMA Art + Tech Lab Grant, Steve Wilson Award from Leonardo, International Society for Art, Science, and Technology, and the Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship Nomination with the National Museum of the American Indian.
Monday, October 7
1pm, Elings Hall, room 1601
FoAM is a network for speculative culture at the intersection of art, science, nature and everyday life. FoAM's co-founders Maja Kuzmanovic and Nik Gaffney discuss their interstitial techniques for living with uncertainty, combining experiential futures, generative technologies, labcraft, and the ephemeral tools of panpsychism.
As strategies of resistance against dystopian fear, FoAM experiments with futurecrafting and conviviality to re-enchant the present. We explore, among other things, animist approaches to interdependence, attunement and reciprocity, using a wide spectrum of transdisciplinary techniques — from mythological to ecological. When attuning to arcane forces of change — such as globalization, the atmosphere, interpersonal dynamics, or gut flora — FoAM's work combines pre-modern crafts of magic and ritual with Futures and technological arts. We evoke and invoke ways of viewing, being and acting in a world where the continuation of humanity is no longer certain. Dark arts for dark times, capable of transforming "the darkness of the tomb into the darkness of the womb". These techniques for re-animating fertile darkness inevitably begin with care. A careful and care full engagement with the world. Care as an antidote to nihilism, apathy or indifference. Care as the potion anima takes to remember itself as inseparable from animate matter.
FoAM is a network of transdisciplinary labs at the intersection of art, science, nature and everyday life. Guided by our motto "grow your own worlds" we cultivate an ecology of practices to re-imagine possible futures, create concrete situations in the present, encourage learning, incite discussions, and suggest alternatives.
Originally founded in Brussels in 2000, the FoAM network currently includes a range of organisational forms, each adapted to the local conditions. As with foam (the mass of bubbles), FoAM (the group) is a dynamic entity able to change shape and scale as required. We can appear as a business in the morning, a tightly knit family at lunchtime, a research facility in the afternoon, a loose bunch of philosophers in the evening or a dedicated designers collective by night. The lives and livelihoods of our members is as much part of FoAM's work as conducting a research project or organising events. We must therefore be malleable enough to accommodate changing needs and a range of lifestyles.
The FoAM studios are places designed to encourage open exchanges of ideas, techniques and experiences, hybrids between laboratories, ateliers and living rooms. We are organised as a distributed network concentrated in Europe and Australasia, with nodes (people, projects and partner organisations) spread across the thin habitable surface of the planet. Our distributed structure enables our studios to remain small and flexible; able to incubate experimental initiatives while the wider network can develop activities with broader scope.
FoAM's activities are as wide-ranging as the people involved. We conduct fieldwork, create artworlds, design and host participatory experiences as embodied responses to our research questions, aiming to engage all senses and encourage different perspectives. In the spirit of an open source culture, we publish our work and tend to a collaborative wiki. In our public events we aim to foster a sense of agency by inspiring and enabling participatory learning and co-creation. FoAM's unique approach to technological and performing arts, futurecrafting, science, education, experience design and process facilitation helps us to engage with people from all walks of life.